Saturday, November 1, 2008

Grateful for November!

Well, I made it through the month of October. Although one of the busiest months I can remember, it was also quite fulfilling. As noted in the previous entry, I was quite busy at church, which I will update below. Beyond those big events, I also had an intensive class, which is 30 hours of class in one week (6 hours per day). Mixed in throughout the month were some really fun, and of course unavoidable trips: bachelor party weekend in Big Bear (mountains a few hours away), weekend in Kansas for a wedding (see picture), a trip back to Philadelphia for a little thing called the World Series, and a few big birthday celebrations. I will have to give a separate entry for the World Series, since that was one of the greatest moments of my life. If that's not enough, I was sick for a week and sliced open my finger while washing dishes. It needed 7 stitches and I couldn't use my right hand for about a week. Did I mention that my computer has been so inconsistent that I had to shop for another one? Yeah, you can say I'm grateful for November.

I wanted to give you an update on the prayer requests from last entry. Here are some quick updates on the events:

  • Nancy Heche, or at least the topic of how the church can respond to homosexuality, was quite the draw. We had over 200 people come out to interact with this topic. I thought it was a huge success and Nancy really challenged us to transform our response to the homosexual community from fear and anger to love and respect. Although we have a long way to go as a church, the dialogue started as to what our role is. If you would like to listen to her talk, you can follow this link: Go to the bottom and you will see the talk under the heading of H20.
  • As expected, the classes on evangelism did not attract quite as big of a crowd. We averaged about 10-15 per night and had some great discussions on what it looks like to share God's love for us with the people around us. There are a lot of misconceptions, so it is always fruitful to reexamine what evangelism is all about. I led the first night and focused mainly on the motivation of compassion, what our culture looks like, and different styles of evangelism. We were blessed to have James Choung speak the second night. If you are interested in the way he presents God's story to others, you can watch his YouTube video. Its only 3 minutes long: The final night consisted of a panel from our church.
  • Finally, we had another Men's Event. We had about 60 guys turn out for this one, which is not bad considering we were competing with the baseball playoffs and Monday Night Football. We had about 7 different recipes of chili represented along with some nachos and hot dogs to complement them. We discussed our view of God and how that can often be related to how we view our earthly fathers, whether they were healthy or not-so-ideal role models. Through a few testimonies and group discussion, I'm hoping that the men left at least with some questions and ideas to begin their journey on this topic. I think men often strive to be better Christians and do not realize that they are approaching God through a faulty view of Him. Hopefully we will be able to encourage each other in this process.
As far as the growth group training and Tatum's core group, I will update on them next month since they are still in progress. Also, stay tuned for an update on how I was such an integral part of the Philadelphia Phillies becoming World Champions!